Incident Management Assistance Patrol (IMAP) Certification

North Carolina Department of Transportation

In This Case Study You Will Learn

  1. The primary services provided by IMAP drivers include the detection of incidents, removal of vehicles and debris from travel lanes, deployment of emergency traffic control, and assistance of stranded motorists.
  2. The certification program currently certifies all drivers and is being expanded to include certification for supervisor levels.
  3. The training program was built to address key challenges that were limiting the maturity of the IMAP Program.

Background

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) provides a safety service patrol through the Incident Management Assistance Patrol (IMAP) Program that covers more than 850 miles of freeways across the state. The IMAP Program began in 1991 and currently operates in eight of the fourteen Divisions. The development of the IMAP certification program began in 2010 and is continually evaluated and expanded as roles change and the program grows. In 2017, over 9,000 stops were completed by IMAP drivers. The primary services provided by IMAP drivers include the detection of incidents, removal of vehicles and debris from travel lanes, deployment of emergency traffic control, and assistance of stranded motorists.

TSMO Planning, Strategies, and Deployment

In an effort to grow the maturity of the IMAP Program, a training and certification program has been implemented. The program currently certifies all drivers and is being expanded to include certification for supervisor levels. These drivers are being asked to perform independently in live traffic and perform critical decision making in emergency situations. The training involves a range of content provided in four different settings: classroom, traffic incident management training track, TMC Control Room, and live roadway. Prior to the official training program, on‐the‐job training was the only available method for staff development.

Communications Planning and Execution

The training program is built on a well‐defined path to certification that has been designed for both drivers and supervisors. It includes four to seven weeks of organized training with an observation period prior to the final week for drivers. Each course contains specific components of the materials to guide the personnel through the concepts and application.

  • Talking Points – specific guidance, policy, and procedures
  • Discussion Questions – tests trainee’s recall of topics
  • Basic Tasks – provides trainee with hands‐on experience
  • Trial Exercises – allows trainee to practice the complete delivery of an IMAP service or strategy
  • Full Demonstrations – tests trainee’s ability to properly execute a complete IMAP service or strategy
  • Scorecard – used to grade each action that trainees must do to execute the service/strategy properly

Outcome, Learnings, and Public Benefit

While developing the training and certification program, stakeholders at the statewide level and in the Divisions identified key challenges that were limiting the maturity of the IMAP Program. Focused solutions to each of these identified challenges are listed below. This comprehensive approach guaranteed that the program would address recognized user needs and better support integration of the training and certification into the overall IMAP Program.

Challenges

Solutions

Inconsistency across IMAP Regions

  • Practices
  • Equipment
  • Focus (IM vs. Motorist Assistance)

Collaborative Production

  • Training content provided by drivers from all regions
  • Regional review of materials at every step

Regional Buy‐In

  • Acceptance of new/different practices
  • Confidence in training content & methodology

Leadership Support

  • Board of Transportation
  • Division Engineers

Statewide Shares Cost

  • Develops materials
  • Delivers training

IMAP Trainers

  • Knowledgeable & experienced
  • Adhere to training standards
  • Can support training needs, statewide

Dedicated IMAP Trainers

  • Reports to Statewide NCDOT
  • Former IMAP drivers/supervisors from different regions
  • Teaches official standards (not their personal way of doing things)
  • Three trainers who are mobile can reach all drivers in all regions

Unclear Standards for Temp. Traffic Control (TTC)

  • MUTCD – Chapter 6 is open to interpretation
  • IMAP regions had their own, unwritten standards
  • “Proper” TTC standards don’t match IMAP’s equipment or typical work duration

(less than 1 hour)

IMAP Emergency Temp. Traffic Control Standard

  • Performed study and developed written justification for IMAP
  • Based IMAP TTC on MUTCD C6 with consideration for:
  • IMAP Truck Capacity
  • Typical Work Duration
  • Ideal Deployment Time by 1 Driver

Training Materials that IMAP will Use

  • Low familiarity with computers
  • Limited computer access in field where training occurs

Hard Copy, “All‐in One” Training Manual

  • Trainers carry with them to training sites
  • All training materials in one, easy‐to‐navigate manual

Materials that will Survive Training Environment

  • Outdoor/wet setting
  • Rugged environment
  • Rough use

Durable Manual

  • Water & tear resistant (polyester paperback)
  • High‐density laminate and rugged bindings

Training Location

  • Safe, controlled environment
  • Sufficient size for full demonstrations
  • Road geometrics similar to real world

NCSHP Driver Training Facility near Raleigh

  • Focused design for TIM Training
  • Support multi‐agency training scenarios
  • Mimics real‐life roadway characteristics


Operations Area of Practice

  • Roadway Safety Services / Roadway Safety Patrol
  • Traffic Incident Management

Organizational Capability Element

  • Emergency Transportation Operations
  • Traffic Incident Management

Content Type

  • Case Studies & Lessons Learned

Publishing Organization

  • NOCoE

Document Downloads

Issue Date
July 10th, 2019
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